“Okayama City has historically been a vital hub for various urban functions, and today it stands as a central city in the Chugoku-Shikoku region. The concept of “Inclusive Growth” advocated by the OECD Champion Mayors Initiative perfectly aligns with my priorities as Mayor, and is harmonised with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Cities are becoming increasingly significant on the international stage, so it is crucial to share challenges and best practices with global leaders committed to inclusive growth.”
Born in 1954 in Okayama City, he graduated from university in 1977 and joined the Ministry of Construction (now the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism). He held key positions, including Director General for Disaster Management, Cabinet Office and Director General of the National and Regional Policy Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism until his retirement in 2013.
In October 2013, he assumed the role of Mayor of Okayama City, and he was re-elected in both 2017 and 2021. He is in third term currently. Since becoming Mayor, he has emphasized three core pillars for advancing city governance: “livability,” “vitality,” and “safety and security.” He has wholeheartedly dedicated himself to managing the city’s affairs and enhancing the city’s overall capabilities to promote its development and improve the QOL of its citizens. He has worked on creating a city with high walkability and enjoyable urban spaces, as well as developing vibrant focal points within the city. In addition, he has supported initiatives that promote the revitalization of the local economy and industries, such as community business creation.
Furthermore, he has actively engaged in building a city where everyone, regardless of age or the presence of illness or disabilities, can lead fulfilling lives. These efforts, along with a dynamic private-sector redevelopment movement, have led to a high rate of new business openings in the city. Okayama City’s gross domestic product has also shown a high growth rate. Additionally, in the 2023 land price changes compared to the previous year, Okayama City recorded the top-leveled high rate of increase, showcasing tangible results of the city’s enhanced capabilities.
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is an initiative to cultivate leaders to build a sustainable society. Okayama City has been promoting ESD activities in the communities based on Kominkans (Community Learning Centers) and schools in partnership with various stakeholders since 2005, when the “UN Decade of ESD” began.
In addition, in 2018, the City was authorized as an SDGs Future City by the government. Okayama has been working to solve various environmental challenges including climate change and reducing marine debris in order to achieve the SDGs.
After the G20 Health Ministers’ Meeting in Okayama in October 2019, Okayama City discussed targets for ideal public health care in Okayama City by 2030. As a conclusion, we declared Positive Health Okayama, “aiming for the society in which every person, from children to the elderly, has reasons to live and stays active regardless of disease or disability.”
Okayama City will continue to work on the extension of healthy life expectancy and the development of the society where people can stay active in their lifetime, and promote the realization of “Positive Health Okayama.”
Promotion of Active Participation of Women and Youth
・Enhance the child rearing environment such as nursery schools, and increase the number of working women.
・Support contributions to the community and establishment of businesses by youth/students.
Support for the Elderly and disabled people
・Assist them to participate in society including opportunities for employment.
・Give discounts of fares of buses and trams.
・Promote barrier-free accessibility.
Aid for Children and Single-Parents
・Subsidize medical expenses for children.
・Support families of single-parents.
・Provide places where children can feel they belong.
・Assist education and learning.
・Support low income people to gain employment and independence.
・Establish the system of Community Fridge.